Listen Here: Coming Home

Listen Here is a monthly playlist picked and curated by members of the Deadshirt staff around a certain theme. This month’s theme is “Coming Home,” with a playlist selected by several Deadshirt staffers and curated by music editor Julian Ames.

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November kicks off the season of the big holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and of course, Boxing Day. Holidays like these are great for going home, maybe visiting folks, seeing old friends, checking out old haunts, etc. So in the spirit of homecoming, Mike Duquette, Haley Winters, Dylan Roth, Jen Overstreet, Madie Coe, Christina Harrington, and Julian Ames contributed their favorite songs about coming home to the playlist below. We hope it provides a good soundtrack to any homecoming you might be having this year.

“Graceland” – Paul Simon
“Graceland,” and the album of the same name, follows a Southerner in New York, his homesickness a way of yearning for a time in his life of less tumult and cynicism. “Graceland” is a bouncy travel ballad that idealizes home as partly Shangri-la, partly halfway house. “I have a reason to believe we all will be received in Graceland”. Paul Simon paints Memphis as a commonplace utopia, where no matter what state of flux you are in, it feels like you can return and find unconditional acceptance to get you back on your feet. – Jen Overstreet

“Sloop John B” [Mono] – The Beach Boys
This is the anthem for people who are sick of everything and “just want to go home.” The Beach Boys’ legendary adaptation of “The John B. Sails” covers all your bases. Even a trip to Nassau (the Bahamas, not Long Island in any way shape or form) can be miserable if you throw in a barfight, a drunk kleptomaniac, and an angry cook. Whatever not-tropical-paradise you’re coming home from is no different, because those things can be found at almost any college in the country. Here’s your long awaited chance to come home, presumably for relaxation or at least a predictable form of madness where you can sleep in your own bed. – David Lebovitz

“Three More Days” – Ray LaMontagne
The hardest part of being a travelin’ man is leaving your woman behind. “Three more days, girl you know I will be coming home to you, darling,” warbles LaMontagne on this gently upbeat bluesy track. The perfect countdown song for returning to your loved ones. – Haley Winters

“Wessex Boy” – Frank Turner
English folk-punk singer-songwriter Frank Turner has a bunch of songs about being on the road, leaving home, and trying to get home but I think “Wessex Boy” is the one most specifically about actually coming home and the feelings you get when there. “There’s something about coming back to your hometown again, the place where you grew up and where you found your firmest friends,” Turner sings in the chorus; though the song namechecks specific landmarks in Turner’s native Wessex, the sentiments can easily be applied to any homecoming. – Julian Ames

“Home” – Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
This isn’t a song about coming home, so much as it is one about the joy of being there. The joyful folk collective invokes all the best parts of growing up in a rural area, from high school sweethearts to pumpkin pie, and gives off so many positive vibes you can’t. not. love. this. song. “Home is whenever I’m with you” pretty much says it all. If you need to feel at home and you can’t afford to get off work for the holidays, just give this one a play and call your parents. – Madie Coe

“Country Mile” – Camera Obscura
For some, the separation between adopted home and family home is far, and traveling for the holidays takes on a solitary, self-reflective quality. Camera Obscura’s delicate vocals mourn that distance, physical and emotional. When “home” is a journey into memory and a chance to recenter yourself in your own history, “Country Mile’s” daydreamy slide guitar and string instrumentation is the perfect accompaniment for contemplation and the savoring of loneliness. – Jen Overstreet

“A Sort Of Homecoming” (Daniel Lanois Remix) – U2
A track as grandiose as this one, the opener to 1984’s The Unforgettable Fire, is ordinarily the kind of sweeping statement you’d expect to close a record. Not so for Dublin’s most earnest musical conquerors. In an age before Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen, Jr. gangbanged your iTunes library with rock’s greatest collective sigh, U2 perfected sonic yearning for peace, for place, and for acceptance long before it became a business or a brand. A journey that starts with the wheels touching down like this can only get more interesting, and “A Sort of Homecoming” is the perfect soundtrack to whatever incredibly journey you might be on. (For extra fun, try this shelved single remix, resurrected for the album’s 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition and flavored with the wordless backing vocals of Peter Gabriel.) – Mike Duquette

“Do You Realize??” – The Flaming Lips
I owe most of my musical tastes to my older brother, Jonathan. When I was in high school he was already off in Boston for college, but each homecoming for him meant sharing new music with me and our two siblings. Jonathan was a mix-CD king back then, making them for college and high school friends, and the earlier drafts of these came to be mine–titles crossed out in black sharpie, replaced simply by “For Christina” in my brother’s uneven handwriting. Of all the music my brother ever gave me, “Do You Realize??” conjures the most palpable sensation of being in my childhood home, surrounded by my family, but it’s also reminder that home isn’t a specific place, it’s a feeling you carry with you. – Christina Harrington

“Front Door” – Jones Street Station
There’s two fistfuls of Jones Street Station tracks that could fit this month’s theme. After all, the band itself is somewhat homeless, creating music across great distances while its members pursue individual projects, so it’s no surprise that “home” is a recurring theme, but “Front Door” is certainly the most literally in line. There’s a cozy fireplace sort of mood to this crooner, like reading a heartwarming chapter of Little House on the Prairie: “Leave the front door open, I’ll be coming over with stories to tell.” – Haley Winters

“How Far We’ve Come” – Dawes
If you don’t see your old friends or extended family too often, a return trip home for the holidays can serve as sort of a progress report. What has everyone been up to since you last saw them? Just as importantly, how are you measuring up? Maybe you left to pursue a dream, leaving behind those who chose a safer, more conventional life. This is your chance to show your friends and family that you have no regrets, or to totally reevaluate your life. In any case, this song off of Dawes’ folk-rock masterpiece Nothing Is Wrong is here to remind you that “the only point of looking back is to see how far we’ve come.” Catch up, take stock, and move on. – Dylan Roth

“Homecoming” – Green Day
If I’m being honest, my obsession with this song actually comes from the cast version of the broadway show American Idiot, based off the Green Day album of the same name. Coming home from college on break, sleep-deprived from finals and midterms, this song was a ritual timed to coincide with pulling into my parent’s driveway, and marked by passing particular copse of trees on Route 70. The five segments are inherently theatrical in nature, and by the time I hit the manic riffs of “Part IV: Rock and Roll Girlfriend,” singing along and rolling down the windows for a blast of icy air just to stay awake, all the stress of the semester was flushed out. From “Waste another year flies by/waste a night or two” to “We’re coming home again,” this song is ten cups of Sheetz coffee and a midnight existential crisis boiled into nine minutes and nineteen seconds of catharsis. – Madie Coe

That’s Deadshirt’s hand-picked Coming Home playlist – now, you tell us what songs remind you of returning home. Comment below or hit us up on Facebook!

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